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Dreadful Company (Dr. Greta Helsing #2)

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Contemporary fantasy in the world of Strange Practice, starring Dr. Greta Helsing, whose family has been keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well for generations. When Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, is unexpectedly called to Paris to present at a medical conference, she expects nothing more exciting than professional discourse on zombie reconstructive sur Contemporary fantasy in the world of Strange Practice, starring Dr. Greta Helsing, whose family has been keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well for generations. When Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, is unexpectedly called to Paris to present at a medical conference, she expects nothing more exciting than professional discourse on zombie reconstructive surgery and skin disease in bogeymen -- and hopefully at least one uneventful night at the Opera. Unfortunately for Greta, Paris happens to be infested with a coven of vampires -- and not the civilized kind. If she hopes to survive, Greta must navigate the darkest corners of the City of Lights, the maze of ancient catacombs and mine-tunnels underneath the streets, where there is more to find than simply dead men's bones.


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Contemporary fantasy in the world of Strange Practice, starring Dr. Greta Helsing, whose family has been keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well for generations. When Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, is unexpectedly called to Paris to present at a medical conference, she expects nothing more exciting than professional discourse on zombie reconstructive sur Contemporary fantasy in the world of Strange Practice, starring Dr. Greta Helsing, whose family has been keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well for generations. When Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, is unexpectedly called to Paris to present at a medical conference, she expects nothing more exciting than professional discourse on zombie reconstructive surgery and skin disease in bogeymen -- and hopefully at least one uneventful night at the Opera. Unfortunately for Greta, Paris happens to be infested with a coven of vampires -- and not the civilized kind. If she hopes to survive, Greta must navigate the darkest corners of the City of Lights, the maze of ancient catacombs and mine-tunnels underneath the streets, where there is more to find than simply dead men's bones.

30 review for Dreadful Company (Dr. Greta Helsing #2)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/08/13/... Despite the mixed reviews for Strange Practice, I ended up enjoying it a lot and was very excited for Dreadful Company. Ironically though, it’s now this sequel that’s making me feel a bit conflicted. It was a fairly good book, though perhaps not great. And I definitely thought the first book was better. Dreadful Company picks up shortly after Strange Practice ended, once again following protagonist Greta Helsing, London’s 3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/08/13/... Despite the mixed reviews for Strange Practice, I ended up enjoying it a lot and was very excited for Dreadful Company. Ironically though, it’s now this sequel that’s making me feel a bit conflicted. It was a fairly good book, though perhaps not great. And I definitely thought the first book was better. Dreadful Company picks up shortly after Strange Practice ended, once again following protagonist Greta Helsing, London’s monster expert and doctor to the city’s population of paranormal creatures. This time though, she has been called to Paris, where she is scheduled to speak at a supernatural medical conference. Just your typical travel for work, and nothing out of the ordinary—or at least that’s what Greta thought, as she prepares for a night out at the opera with the vampire Edmund Ruthven, her best friend who has accompanied her on this trip. Unbeknownst to them though, Paris’s labyrinthine underground is infested with a coven of unruly vampires, and they have been planning something nefarious for Greta’s arrival. But first, Greta encounters a small gremlin-like creature called a wellmonster in her hotel bathroom, its appearance intriguing her because wellmonsters aren’t typically seen unless they are summoned. Soon though, there are more sightings. Deciding that they warrant further investigation, Greta opts to stay behind while Ruthven returns home to England. But before she can get too far with her inquiries, Greta is kidnapped by the vampires, who are led by a real nasty piece of work named Corvin. Meanwhile, back in London, Greta’s disappearance has been noticed by Ruthven and Francis Varney, the vampyre who has been sweet on the doctor ever since she saved him in the first book. Setting off to find her, the two begin scouring Paris for clues while a parallel mission is also being carried out a pair of psychopomps who are investigating a worrisome influx of phantoms around the area. Dreadful Company and I did not exactly start off on the right foot. Compared to Strange Practice, the beginning here lacked the kind of urgency that pulled me immediately into the first book. While Paris was a nice change of setting and the wellmonsters were adorable and all, I thought this sequel took too long to take off and that on the whole its introduction was pretty uneventful. It wasn’t until Greta was kidnapped that I thought the plot started to pick up. Once the ball got rolling, however, I have to admit things become a lot more interesting. I was impressed at how engaging Greta’s sections managed to be, considering how she spends most of the early parts of the book imprisoned in a cell. The vampires who kidnapped her are given individual backstories and substance, and their presence proves that even in the supernatural world, things are not so simple or black and white. Greta also once again demonstrates why she is a credit to her profession, showing compassion and providing healing to whoever needs it. The worldbuilding was also one of my favorite elements from Strange Practice, and I love it here still. The riveting mix of old and new is alive and well in Dreadful Company, where we’re treated to an eclectic mashup of literary monsters in a modern-day setting. The city of Paris simply adds to this charm, as Vivian Shaw also throws in a few references and deferential nods to several French classics. She’s also expanded the world this time with new characters, and I especially enjoyed meeting Crepusculus Dammerung and Gervase Brightside, our spiritual guides to lost souls. That said, it’s possible that a bit of the novelty and magic has faded since the first book. Part of this is understandable, as there’s a sense that this sequel is more about reinforcing the ideas and themes that have already been established, settling readers comfortably into the world. There’s nothing terribly new or surprising, even a couple reused plot points. And because the characters were all split up, the narrative sometimes had to offer multiple perspectives on the same event, leading to repetition that wasn’t always necessary. Still, my fixed feelings and quibbles notwithstanding, I wasn’t really disappointed. While I didn’t think Dreadful Company was as good as Strange Practice, it retains that special kind of charm which made me fall in love with the first book. It’s what makes Dr. Greta Helsing such a unique urban fantasy series, and plan on sticking with it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    William Gowling

    YES YES YES I'm so excited to read this! Despite not greatly enjoying bits of strange practice, I loved the way ending and want more of Greta and company! Dreadful company.... 😏

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    The first book in this series is one of my favorites ever, and the second book is no different. Vivian Shaw takes plenty of my favorite classic stories and a lot of very good stuff from her own very good brain and blends it into the perfect story. Nothing makes me happier than a new story with Greta and I can't wait for book three.

  4. 3 out of 5

    Becca

    God, do I love this series. If you like Ben Aaronovitch's RIVERS OF LONDON series, but find at times that the writing gets a little too abstract and strays from the point (as I sometimes find when reading them), this series is the perfect antidote. It's got everything I could want in a book with a few minor quibbles. I don't have a very coherent review other than: I loved this.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Last year, Strange Practice, the first in this ongoing series, was one of my unexpected delights, so much so that it was one of my 'favourite five' Fantasy novels of the year. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that I was really looking forward to this one. Dreadful Company begins pretty much where we left things at the end of Strange Practice. If you remember, Dr. Greta van Helsing, daughter of the more-famous van Helsing, is a physician to those who live in the shadows. As part of her work she enc Last year, Strange Practice, the first in this ongoing series, was one of my unexpected delights, so much so that it was one of my 'favourite five' Fantasy novels of the year. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that I was really looking forward to this one. Dreadful Company begins pretty much where we left things at the end of Strange Practice. If you remember, Dr. Greta van Helsing, daughter of the more-famous van Helsing, is a physician to those who live in the shadows. As part of her work she encounters and helps many who need her unusual treatments – vampires, ghosts and the like. Here we begin with Greta at a hotel in Paris for a medical conference, with her vampire friend Edmund Ruthven. Expecting to do little more than deliver a lecture on zombie reconstructive surgery, instead Greta and Edmund find that Paris is in thrall to an evil nest of feral vampires in the dead catacombs underneath Paris, from which the story develops. Vivian manages to develop the characters we’ve already met. From the first chapter, Greta is again shown to be a caring person, whose job is unusual enough to make her encounters of great interest to the reader. Whether it is tissue regeneration in revenants, zombie reconstruction or helping vampires adjust to their change in circumstances, the sense that things are better for Greta being there shines throughout the narrative. Of course, she is not alone. Edmund is his usual paternal self, though he gets a chance to show how bad he can be, should the situation arise. Family friend and godfather Fastitocalon is back, healthier than before, and now doing the Devil’s work for him. Francis Varney (the vampire, yes – but, as has been said before, nothing like the caricature presented in James Rymer & Thomas Prest’s book) is as complex as he was before, and coincidentally Greta’s love interest. As well as the ones we know, there are other characters that are new. I loved Gervase Brightside and Crepusculus Dammerung, two remedial psychopomps whose prime purpose is to help lost souls pass over. They’re a kinder, gentler, nicer version of Neil Gaiman’s Croup & Vandemar, whose respectful banter reflects their long-time friendship doing a difficult job. They are immediately likeable, and possibly worthy of a series of their own. Much of the entertainment of the novel is not just about the characters, but also the unusual creatures Greta administers care to. Here we meet the rather mouldy European wellmonsters (different to the New World species!), who sit in the bottom of your bathroom basins and look after jewellery, and the faceless, longhaired tricherpetons, who seem to just hug people. As with Strange Practice, it’s clear that Vivian has fun with referencing other work.  In addition to the obvious Dracula, and the already-mentioned Varney the Vampyre, it should perhaps not be a surprise to find that there’s Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera and Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables in the mix as well, and some nods to other genre culture - Guy Endore’s Werewolf of Paris and M.R. James’ Whistle and I’ll Come to You, for example. Oh, and Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner. You don’t have to know these other works to enjoy this book, but those who do will appreciate the effort made. Of the minor niggles, there is much that is similar to Strange Practice – even Greta groans at finding herself stumbling around passageways in the dark again – but it is done with humour and a knowing nod at the implausibility of it all. The villains are a tad pantomime-like, but at the same time there’s a sadness around these characters that make them more than the usual archetype. As much as the bad-guys-and-gals want to belong to vampire society, it is clear pretty early on that they don’t belong and their consequent demise (do you really expect anything else?) is justifiable. Reading this book from the start is rather like the administration of a medical cure of its own. It is so refreshing and pleasant, though not sickly so. I find that it is rare these days for a seasoned old cynic like myself to find a book that just feels like a huge warm hug, that makes you so pleased to be reading it that you are sorry to see it finish. And yet, the Greta van Helsing series so far is just that: books full of warmth, with characters that you love and weird creatures that you get to love. And this one also has Paris. It’s almost enough to melt the heart of a jaded reviewer… In summary, reading Dreadful Company is like spending time with old friends – far from “Dreadful”, in fact. I absolutely loved it – I think that this is my favourite Urban Fantasy series since I first discovered The Dresden Files. Read the first book if you haven’t already – but I’m sure that you will want to read this one straightaway afterwards if you can.  Dreadful Company is a triumph.

  6. 3 out of 5

    Adri Joy

    Dreadful Company builds on the strengths of the first volume in the series, delivering another solid urban fantasy adventure. Dreadful Company is the second novel from Vivian Shaw in the Dr Greta Helsing series, following last year's Strange Practice. Readers who follow a fair bit of fanfiction may have already come across Shaw's works in the Homestuck, the MCU and Star Wars fandoms as coldhope. This background puts Shaw in a strong position to bring some of the most interesting aspects of transf Dreadful Company builds on the strengths of the first volume in the series, delivering another solid urban fantasy adventure. Dreadful Company is the second novel from Vivian Shaw in the Dr Greta Helsing series, following last year's Strange Practice. Readers who follow a fair bit of fanfiction may have already come across Shaw's works in the Homestuck, the MCU and Star Wars fandoms as coldhope. This background puts Shaw in a strong position to bring some of the most interesting aspects of transformative fiction to this original series, which takes such venerable members of the vampire canon as Lord Ruthven and Varney the Vampyre, and effectively sets them in a modern AU, showcasing them in a new environment without needing to focus on their process of adaptation. As her surname indicates, Greta is a descendent of Abraham Van Helsing -- though the family dropped the "Van" a while back -- and she's inherited the family business, but it's not the one you'd think: instead, she runs a medical practice dealing with the problems of London's supernatural denizens. Greta has built a strong community with the undead of London, and most of the undead cast have happily established their niche in 21st century London, and are strongly invested in protecting it against those who threaten it in any way. Dreadful Company picks up the narrative some time after the end of Strange Practice, with Greta and Ruthven on a visit to Paris as Greta prepares to present a paper at a supernatural medical conference. Before they get there, however, there's time to visit the opera and get in their contractually required Phantom references. To Greta's surprise, while there's no ghostly apparition in Box 5, there is a creepy vampire in need of a haircut staring at her from another of the theatre's boxes. Said vampire quickly makes his terrible aesthetic and coven management skills - and his vendetta against Ruthven - into Greta's problem by abducting her to his lair in the conveniently atmospheric catacombs of Paris, where she comes into contact with the rest of his terribly-dressed coven and the mess they have made of 1) the city, 2) themselves and 3) the fabric of reality. Read the full review at: http://www.nerds-feather.com/2018/07/...

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Thalenberg

    I am enamoured I love this world of cute monsters, demonic corporate structures, vampires who believe in their own worst stereotypes, and a dedicated doctor of really really alternative medicine. Please continue as long as you are able, and thank you.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lucille

    I was going to rate this 3 stars because while I enjoyed it I didn't loved it as much as Strange Practice. But still in the end it ended up being another hit mainly thanks to the great cast of characters. While Strange Practice had the characters almost always together and working to solve a mystery, here we see Greta more often alone or away from her friends for more than half of the book, and we have pov from new characters and not so much of the ones from the first book. Some from the 1st are I was going to rate this 3 stars because while I enjoyed it I didn't loved it as much as Strange Practice. But still in the end it ended up being another hit mainly thanks to the great cast of characters. While Strange Practice had the characters almost always together and working to solve a mystery, here we see Greta more often alone or away from her friends for more than half of the book, and we have pov from new characters and not so much of the ones from the first book. Some from the 1st aren't even there anymore. Still, the way everyone comes together and the strong found family themes made this awesome in the end. I really like the way Vivian Shaw uses Paris and some landmarks that are not the ones always used when Paris is the setting (here with the Sorbonne, Opera Garnier, catacombs, cemeteries...) Ghosts, vampires, little furry monsters... Greta is still hard at work at uncovering mysteries and being the best monster doctor out there!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sandradine

    This was delightful to read! I'm thrilled that it's even better than the previous book. The characters have more "flesh", the wit is fantastic and the good feelings you get at the end is endearing so now it's become one of my favorite paranormal series. Oh yes, Paris will have to be revisited with a new perspective!

  10. 3 out of 5

    Beth

    Short version? I liked it better than book 1 :) Long version will be published on www.vampirebookclub.net

  11. 3 out of 5

    Heather

    4.5/5 a charming series about monsters, doctors, self-saving women, and croissants. I’m a fan. My one thing I missed from the first book was the working relationship between the women in the medical clinic. It just rang so true, women just get sh*t done.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hannah (Peevey) Way

    I loved it. Shaw has created a fun, intelligent and engaging magical mystery series with characters as fun and witty as you might expect from Gaiman.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nannette

    Strange Practice, the first book is the series, was wonderful. The main character in both books is Greta Helsing (the family dropped the Van between the World Wars) is a physician. Greta’s practice treats the most underserved and needy of all London inhabitants, the unalive. In the first book we meet Lord Ruthven, a vampire, one of Greta's oldest friends. We also meet Varney, who is a vampyre, and the different spelling denotes a different species. Greta's world includes every type of supernatura Strange Practice, the first book is the series, was wonderful. The main character in both books is Greta Helsing (the family dropped the Van between the World Wars) is a physician. Greta’s practice treats the most underserved and needy of all London inhabitants, the unalive. In the first book we meet Lord Ruthven, a vampire, one of Greta's oldest friends. We also meet Varney, who is a vampyre, and the different spelling denotes a different species. Greta's world includes every type of supernatural being you can imagine. It is fascinating. In Dreadful Company, the second book in the series, Greta is in Paris. With only a few days notice, she is filling in for a friend at an academic conference. Ruthven accompanies Greta for the first few days. From the start, things are a little off. Greta finds a Well monster in her bathroom sink, a 4th floor hotel room. Then a tricherpeton shows up under her bed. Both are not commonly found as they must be summoned by magic. When Greta captures the attention of a of undead and unfriendly coven, her old friends and some new ones must hurry to find her before she is killed or worse. Meanwhile Greta, not one to be a damsel in distress, tries to save herself while taking care of those around her who need help. The story is captivating and exciting. It kept me turning pages long after I should have been asleep. The character development is wonderful. The reader learns more about all the characters from the first book. The new characters are not two dimensional. They are people (or former people) that enhance the story and are a wonderful addition to Greta's world. One last thought, real vampires or vampyre do not sparkle.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Velislava

    Perhaps my expectations were too high after loving the first book so much. It was still entertaining, and amusing, it was great to see more of Greta Hellsing's world but there were also many things which put me off. In book one Greta had a battered mini, an overflowing shapeless handbag, hardly any money, a purpose, drive and quite a few other traits which made her endearing, interesting, relatable, and most of all - human. Now she is relying on the infinite resources of her rich friend. And I d Perhaps my expectations were too high after loving the first book so much. It was still entertaining, and amusing, it was great to see more of Greta Hellsing's world but there were also many things which put me off. In book one Greta had a battered mini, an overflowing shapeless handbag, hardly any money, a purpose, drive and quite a few other traits which made her endearing, interesting, relatable, and most of all - human. Now she is relying on the infinite resources of her rich friend. And I do mean infinite. Which bothers me because Greta is no longer endearing, interesting or relatable. This always screams of wish-fulfilment on the side of the author to me. I know its strange to ask an author of fiction to be true to life, because fiction is not meant to be, but if the setting is present day planet Earth, keep the daydreams of a rich friend sorting out you life out of it. Even if the setting is different, its poor writing. And then the even richer boyfriend takes over... sigh... Another point is that if Lilith was going to be summoning monsters, surely she would summon more than well monsters and adorable not-dogs. Surely there are other monsters to be summoned. So many missed opportunities for weird and wonderful creatures to be introduced... Finally, the good parts: all nods towards the queer community, the destruction of the taffeta dress (which was green and then red??), the concept of making your own family, of leaving behind the hurt and braving to be different. I only hope in the third book money rains less, and there are fewer unnecessary fashion overexplanations....

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gregoire

    je dirais 2.5 étoiles entre OK et I like it : un récit distrayant L'auteur s'attache à nous démontrer que les "monstres" sont des personnes comme les autres et souffrent de leurs différences Le méchant (et sa bande) est vraiment stupide et à aucun moment on ne sent une réelle tension d'autant que l'auteur ne peut s'empêcher d'insérer dans ces scènes des pointes d'humour Étant français, la description de Paris n'est pas forcément un plus à mes yeux pour le récit (je préfère découvrir des villes o je dirais 2.5 étoiles entre OK et I like it : un récit distrayant L'auteur s'attache à nous démontrer que les "monstres" sont des personnes comme les autres et souffrent de leurs différences Le méchant (et sa bande) est vraiment stupide et à aucun moment on ne sent une réelle tension d'autant que l'auteur ne peut s'empêcher d'insérer dans ces scènes des pointes d'humour Étant français, la description de Paris n'est pas forcément un plus à mes yeux pour le récit (je préfère découvrir des villes ou des pays que je ne connais pas) D'autant que seuls les édifices et les rues sont décrits. J'aurais aimé un peu plus de "noirceur" pour compenser le côté super héroïne de Greta son empathie pour tout ce qui souffre (plus d'ailleurs que ses qualités médicales que l'on voit peu ici) et sa bande (vampires mythiques, loup-garou protecteur (m'a fait pensé au bossu de Notre Dame je ne sais pas pourquoi !!!) démons, fantômes etc J'apprécie cependant l'imagination de l'auteur et les nouveaux "monstres/ non êtres" aux noms savoureux comme Crepusculus et Brightside et aussi je donne un excellent point parce que la romance - souvent trop centrale à mon goût dans ce genre de littérature - est très discrète ne servant qu' à resserrer les liens entre Greta et ses partenaires anciens et nouveaux Un récit tout public qui se laisse lire Je crois savoir qu'un troisième opus est prévu En lecture pour les vacances, je serai preneur

  16. 3 out of 5

    TheManOfLetters

    I've filed away the Dr. Greta Helsing series under "Feelgood Urban Fantasy" in my mental library. While the plot is honestly nothing to keep you at the edge of your seat, the cast of characters around and including Greta is entirely likable once again (although Greta herself is somehow one of the least interesting characters of the odd group). The quirky bunch of faultlessly polite and charming vampires, werewolves and demons makes up for a relatively slow and sometimes seemingly aimless plot th I've filed away the Dr. Greta Helsing series under "Feelgood Urban Fantasy" in my mental library. While the plot is honestly nothing to keep you at the edge of your seat, the cast of characters around and including Greta is entirely likable once again (although Greta herself is somehow one of the least interesting characters of the odd group). The quirky bunch of faultlessly polite and charming vampires, werewolves and demons makes up for a relatively slow and sometimes seemingly aimless plot that leads up to a surprisingly violent, yet somehow anticlimactic finale. Although some dark themes like rape culture and abuse are hinted at, there never is a real sense of horror or actual danger. The general tone of the novel takes a more lighthearted and humorous direction, which reminds me quiet a bit of "Good Omens". Even some of the supposed villains turn out not to be that bad after all, while the main villain makes you think more in terms of "what a stupid d*ck" instead of "oh no, the horror, a truely evil mastermind". While "Dreadful Company", much like the first book, might not be a high octane horror thriller, it's an entirely enjoyable and almost relaxing read that I'd suggest to everyone who doesn't always need their Urban Fantasy to be full of daring wizards, evil demons and bloodthirsty monsters, but can instead enjoy an odd group of compassionate and charming individuals from the supernatural side of existence and their caring doctor.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yaaresse

    Oh, that was just a ridiculous amount of fun. With the first book of this series, there was an awkward getting-to-know-you phase that one had to get through in order to get to the story. Shaw's writing seems sharper and more confident this time around, and she's figured out how to introduce the premise to any newcomers without boring those of us who read the first book in the series. She relentlessly pokes fun at undead trope -- nearly choked on my coffee at the first (snide) reference to body g Oh, that was just a ridiculous amount of fun. With the first book of this series, there was an awkward getting-to-know-you phase that one had to get through in order to get to the story. Shaw's writing seems sharper and more confident this time around, and she's figured out how to introduce the premise to any newcomers without boring those of us who read the first book in the series. She relentlessly pokes fun at undead trope -- nearly choked on my coffee at the first (snide) reference to body glitter -- and works in some nods to classic books and movies as well as 90s culture. Once in a while it was a little heavy-handed, but still fun. (And given this series will likely have many readers who won't remember the 90s beyond faint images of their playpen or Rugrats, then she is probably right to overemphasize some of the things she did.) We have a new pretty-boy angst-ridden vamp to entertain us. I'm not quite sure about Grisaille yet. His conflict resolution was a bit abrupt, but I think he's going to turn out to be more interesting and convincing as the series continues. And I hope it does continue.

  18. 3 out of 5

    camille

    some of the reviews are complaining about how sappy the ending was and like, i get that to some extent because there were some parts i had to skim because they were kind of... overdone imo (the conversation with emily greta & ruthven at the very end, for instance) but ultimately i thought it was really good! i gave it only three stars because the first one (which is one of my favorite books) was a four star book and i like this one slightly less, so In Comparison its a three star book, but i some of the reviews are complaining about how sappy the ending was and like, i get that to some extent because there were some parts i had to skim because they were kind of... overdone imo (the conversation with emily greta & ruthven at the very end, for instance) but ultimately i thought it was really good! i gave it only three stars because the first one (which is one of my favorite books) was a four star book and i like this one slightly less, so In Comparison its a three star book, but i think its a pretty satisfying sequel. as usual part of the climax was really technical so i skimmed that as well (fastitocalon's whole explanation about the fabric of reality and the scenes where they dealt with that) but that was the same in the first book, and it isnt necessarily a bad thing! if you like knowing the specifics of the situation youd probably like that quality. but i have a really hard time following those kinds of things, which is why im not a stem major, lol. im fond of this whole world and the characters in it, and for that reason book one will always be the best to me as it is our introduction to the characters and establishes them the best, out of the series so far

  19. 4 out of 5

    Charty

    I thought this was overall a better book than the first in the series, which is nice to see. The first book wasn’t bad by any means but the quality of the writing, plot and characters has nicely improved in this second outing. The best change is that we get more Greta POV. Although she functions as a damsel in distress within the plot, she’s anything but. She ends up rescuing herself, thank you very much, and while spending significant time incarcerated manages to help a young woman and give a j I thought this was overall a better book than the first in the series, which is nice to see. The first book wasn’t bad by any means but the quality of the writing, plot and characters has nicely improved in this second outing. The best change is that we get more Greta POV. Although she functions as a damsel in distress within the plot, she’s anything but. She ends up rescuing herself, thank you very much, and while spending significant time incarcerated manages to help a young woman and give a jaded vampire thoughts about defecting. She also makes friends with a few monsters (yay for more monsters) along the way. There’s some call backs to Phantom of the Opera, if you’re familiar with the story, and we get more Ruthevan and Varney and Fass while acquiring a couple of more to the gang. Sadly there aren’t very many female characters in this. Of the two others, one is a spoiled bitch who dies, the other is young and without much real agency. Do women not become monsters? Maybe not in this universe. There were a few paragraphs and pages that could have been trimmed to make the story a bit tighter, but I ended enjoying this quite a bit and am eagerly awaiting book three.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Joy

    I'm really enjoying this series, and hope we don't have to wait too long for the third installment. Dr. Greta Helsing and her group of unusual friends are back, and this book adds some interesting new characters to the group. I love the little well monsters and tricherpetons, and Winston, who should probably all be creepy but are endearing, like most of the supernatural beings in Greta's world. There are some amusing psychopomps, a werewolf guardian of Paris, and a new and ridiculously inept dem I'm really enjoying this series, and hope we don't have to wait too long for the third installment. Dr. Greta Helsing and her group of unusual friends are back, and this book adds some interesting new characters to the group. I love the little well monsters and tricherpetons, and Winston, who should probably all be creepy but are endearing, like most of the supernatural beings in Greta's world. There are some amusing psychopomps, a werewolf guardian of Paris, and a new and ridiculously inept demon, as well as a few new vampires who can be safely added to the ranks of the enjoyably odd. But Paris is, in this story, being plagued by an unsavory group of relatively young and reckless vampires who enjoy their theatrics too much, and who seem morally bereft. I enjoyed the fact that Shaw made a repeated point of poking fun at these particular vampires' bizarre fondness for body glitter, because of course, vampires do NOT actually sparkle. Monsters, a strong female lead, and a threat to reality itself--all the right ingredients for an entertaining read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mark Whybird

    I waited MONTHS for this after finishing the first one, and I was not disappointed. This one is even stronger, and you could jump in here and read the books out of order without issue. I especially liked how Greta got free at one point, and who it was that saved her... you’ll know what I mean when you read it. It’s true that her practice itself is not a big part of these novels - but it is her innate desire to help others that both defines her and shapes vast amounts of what happens in these boo I waited MONTHS for this after finishing the first one, and I was not disappointed. This one is even stronger, and you could jump in here and read the books out of order without issue. I especially liked how Greta got free at one point, and who it was that saved her... you’ll know what I mean when you read it. It’s true that her practice itself is not a big part of these novels - but it is her innate desire to help others that both defines her and shapes vast amounts of what happens in these books, and I love it. Complaining that not much of it happens at her place of daily work is like complaining that Indiana Jones movies aren’t set in his University. (Not that Greta would probably approve of Indy; darn meddling archeologists! Stop moving artefacts and especially Mummies and bones around!) My only disappointment is that now I have to wait again for the third one!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ken Inglis

    Marvellous! Such adorable and pleasant characters. This might be urban fantasy but, for me, there is a hint of Pratchett's warmth, humanity and niceness to this series. There's a wonderfully polite Englishness to so many of our heroes: they are terribly well spoken, utterly dependable in a scrape and ever so decent. Greta saves the day on a number of occasions and I cheered her on every time. The plot works better in this, than its predecessor, and the pacing is sharp enough that you never get b Marvellous! Such adorable and pleasant characters. This might be urban fantasy but, for me, there is a hint of Pratchett's warmth, humanity and niceness to this series. There's a wonderfully polite Englishness to so many of our heroes: they are terribly well spoken, utterly dependable in a scrape and ever so decent. Greta saves the day on a number of occasions and I cheered her on every time. The plot works better in this, than its predecessor, and the pacing is sharp enough that you never get bored. Forget the narrative though, read it for the glorious characters. This is a book with people in it you want to spend time with. This is a book with a big heart.......and European Well Monsters!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    It's a very interesting sophomore novel with such an interesting and engaging premise. A doctor who cares for the supernatural community. In this exciting sequel, Greta Helsing is heading to Paris for a medical conference, when trouble strikes. Big time, in the form of rogue vampires. She'll need all the help she can possibly get from her friends, 'civilized' vampires Edmund Ruthven and Francis Varney and Fastitocalon, a former demon who happens to be her godfather. Because unfortunately for Gre It's a very interesting sophomore novel with such an interesting and engaging premise. A doctor who cares for the supernatural community. In this exciting sequel, Greta Helsing is heading to Paris for a medical conference, when trouble strikes. Big time, in the form of rogue vampires. She'll need all the help she can possibly get from her friends, 'civilized' vampires Edmund Ruthven and Francis Varney and Fastitocalon, a former demon who happens to be her godfather. Because unfortunately for Greta, the leader, Corvin, has his eye on her...and his captives do not survive very long.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Janine

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So disappointed in this second instalment of the Greta Helsing series. I felt it could have done with a proper edit (Did we really need Ruthven, Varney and Greta, at different points in the story, to each notice that Irazek has carrot-like horns?). And I like happy endings, but this one was so sickly-sweet and glib - everything neatly wrapped up and tied with a pink bow. Hopefully the next book will have a bit more depth and substance than this one.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Radley

    OMG!!!! I love this book and this series it’s just absolute madness and sheer devilish fun. Loved every page and all the characters and cute lil critters (cute fuzzy monsters) seriously I went gooey over them. The romance is the most believable and yet understated I have come across in these books love love it. A definite must read for fans of Kim Newman and anyone who likes a bit of gothic tongue firmly in cheek 😜

  26. 3 out of 5

    Lacer

    I loved this, the second in the Greta Helsing series, it’s definitely found its feet. Greta is a human doctor who treats supernatural patients and she hangs out with a vampire and a vampyre. In Dreadful Company, Greta is invited to give a talk in Paris, whilst there she spots something odd going on and attempts to alert the city’s werewolf but things don’t go to plan. I can’t wait for the next book!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Spoiler: she gets kidnapped almost immediately and for the majority of the book. Because of this I like the book a lot less than the first book. What I liked about the first book was the idea of her as a supernatural doctor and also the camaraderie between her and the other main characters and that was missing here.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    A fun and enjoyable story. Some of the references are taken a bit far but I'm definitely going to continue with the series. A bit different for the genre as the romance is only mentioned in passing, which is a refreshing change from most supernatural/urban fantasy.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Daemon

    Book two in what's now (or soon to be) a three book (so far) series - and damn. It's good. Really, genuinely, fun and scary and compassionate and weird and beautifully world-built and good. Highly recommended.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matt Kurowski

    What a fun and engrossing novel! Characters are well-drawn, the plot is progressive and... oh hell it’s just the most fun I’ve had in a book this year. If you loved Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book then this is one for you. So goooood.

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